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NSTDA and Brazil

March 22, 2011

Brazil is one of the strategic country that NSTDA aims to partner with. Brazil has one of the strongest and fastest growing science bases outside the OECD, and is an increasingly important and competitive research economy. Brazil has 0.92 researchers for every 1,000 workers. In 2008 Brazil had 46,700 people with graduate degrees, including 10,700 with doctorates and now produces over ten thousand PhDs per annum, a similar number to France and South Korea.  Brazil has still rapidly grown its scientist and engineer forces.  At the turn of the century Brazil had achieved significant successes in some areas and had built up the largest and best -qualified researchers in Latin America.

Among developing countries, its scientists contribute more of the most-cited research papers than any other country except China and India. Brazil has increased its research output from about 8,000 to over 17,500 papers during 1998-2007 and the number is rapidly increasing.  Brazil is a world leader in agricultural and bioenergy technology and it has exceptional capacity in biology-based disciplines and natural resources related research.  Undoubtedly agricultural sciences top the rankings of scientific publications in Brazil. Brazil produces 18.4% of global publications in tropical medicine, 12.4% in parasitology (12.34%, and has significant impact in areas as agriculture (8.61%) and animal sciences (6.49%). In specific scientific areas, Brazil’s research is cited three times more than the world average.

Brazil is one of the world's largest exporters of poultry, sugar cane and ethanol. Brazilian broiler production is forecast to increase by 3 per cent in 2011 reaching 11.8 million metric tonnes. Brazil supplies ¼ of the world's soybean trade on just 6% of the country's arable land - in 1994 Brazil's soybean exports were one-seventh of America's; now they are six-sevenths.

Brazil is the most successful country in the world in producing ethanol from sugarcane for  automobiles for the past 35 years.  Brazil produces 16,000 million liter of ethanol from sugarcane per year – the highest volume in the world and the lowest cost (0.2 USD per liter) as well.  Ethanol industry is one of the significant players of Brazilian economy.  Today, Brazil produces more than 40% of the world’s bio-ethanol, a response to the government’s PróAlcool bio-ethanol policy in 1975. It aims for more than three-quarters of its cars to run on biofuels, backed by its programmes for engine development.

Science and technology have played a strategic role in Brazil in response to the need to improve productivity in the economy, an active integration in the international markets and networks for technological products and scientific knowledge. Since the implementation of the Sectoral Funds for Science and Technology at the end of the 1990s, the advance in R&D is significantly observed.  The creation of the sectoral funds provided important legal instruments for implementing a new policy for science, technology, and innovation.  In 2009 Brazil’s GERD / GDP is 1.3% (0.6% private 0.5% of Federal Govt, and 0.2% from the State Govt. In 2002 the GERD/GDP was only 0.9%. In 2010 the federal R&D budget for Brazil is US$8 billion.  The amount allocated to the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology US$6-7 billion – not including salary.

Brazil has counted on installed material and intellectual capacity capable of promoting significant progress in national policies on Science and Technologies and on the Environment.  There are several repetitive S&T organizations in Brazil such as
•    Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE)
•    Brazilian Reference Center on Biomass (CENBIO)
•    Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecurária (EMBRAPA)
•    Center for Sugarcane Technology (CTC)
•    Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ)
•    The National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (Inmetro)

The Fact Finding Mission
On 17 November, 2010 the Brazilian Minster of Science and Technology Dr. Sergio Machado Rezende met with Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Dr.Trirong Suwankiri, H.E. Dr. Virachai Veeramteakul, Minster of Science and Technology, and Dr. Thaweesak Koanantakool, NSTDA President to discuss opportunities for collaboration.  An initiative to organize a Fact Finding Mission of Thai S&T organizations to Brazil is push forward by active support from Brazil Ambassador to Thailand – H.E. Paulo Cesar Meira de Vasconcellos.

The focuses of the Fact Finding Mission are on
•    Industrial production of ethanol from sugar cane from breeding to overall management of the industry including standardization,
•    Application of lessons learned from Brazil’s sugar cane industry to cassava production in Thailand in terms of yields and starch content,
•    Joint clinical trials and vaccine production with a focus on tropical diseases such as dengue and malaria,
•    Soybeans and enzyme for animal feed production,
•    S&T policy focusing on public acceptance of biofuels and GMOs.

The Fact Finding Mission will be organized during April 22-May 1, 2011.  The delegates from Thailand include 22 Executives and researchers from government and private sectors, namely NSTDA, TISTR, NIMT, STI, KMUTT, Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Co., Ltd.(CPF), Mitr Phol Sugarcane Research Center Co., Ltd., Betagro Science Center, Siam Cement Group (SCG), Ban Pong Tapioca Flour Industrial Co., Ltd., Neotechfood Co., Ltd., Prime Products Industry Co.Ltd., and Microinnovate Co., Ltd.  The mission will visit key organizations in Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

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